Thanks­giv­ing all-stars

Three sides and a dessert

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - FOOD - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

This hol­i­day, add some star power to your meal with celebrity recipes that will have guests giv­ing thanks.

“When I think about Thanks­giv­ing, I re­mem­ber the turkey and my fa­ther’s chicken giblet gravy,” de­scribed Iron Chef and restau­ra­teur Jose Garces, whose par­ents em­i­grated from Ecuador and served “Ecuadorean sta­ples as well.”

“Now, ev­ery Thanks­giv­ing with my kids in­cludes a lit­tle bit of Latin flair,” he con­tin­ued, “with dishes like meat-filled em­panadas, sweet corn tamales and my Catalan-in­spired swee­tand-sour spinach.”

Fea­tur­ing cur­rants, pine nuts, honey and sherry vine­gar, the spinach is “rel­a­tively light, which makes it a great ad­di­tion to a hearty Thanks­giv­ing menu.”

Can’t get enough sides? Try singer, ac­tor and Philadel­phia na­tive Frankie Avalon’s green beans with red pota­toes, a chart­top­ping al­ter­na­tive to green bean casse­role. Or hit one out of the park with ex­tra-creamy mashed pota­toes from Phillies broad­caster and for­mer ma­jor lea­guer Ben Davis. The se­cret: cream cheese, sour cream and milk for “a bet­ter con­sis­tency.”

“Be­ing 100-per­cent Ir­ish, we tend to have some sort of potato with just about ev­ery din­ner, and Thanks­giv­ing is no dif­fer­ent,” he ex­plained. “Mashed pota­toes go the best with turkey!”

And for dessert, Ac­tion News icon Lisa Thomas-Laury of­fered peach/ap­ple cob­bler, a fam­ily fa­vorite.

“My cousin, Linda, shared it with me in my early years after I moved to Philadel­phia,” re­called the re­tired an­chor and au­thor of a new mem­oir: “On Cam­era and Off: When the News Is Good and When It’s Not.”

“I find that cob­bler’s a lit­tle eas­ier be­cause you usu­ally make it in a square dish,” she said. “The crust doesn’t have to be as per­fect.” But the taste sure is. “My hus­band loves it with ice cream.”

Sweet-and-Sour Catalan Spinach

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 1 ta­ble­spoon canola oil 1 shal­lot, minced ½ cup sherry vine­gar 1 thyme sprig 1 ta­ble­spoon honey ¼ cup pine nuts 2½ pounds baby spinach 3 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pep­per ¼ cup cur­rants IN­STRUC­TIONS

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tea­spoons of the canola oil. Add the shal­lot and cook over low heat un­til soft­ened, about 3 min­utes. Add the vine­gar and thyme sprig

Of course, you want an In­sta­gram-wor­thy turkey too.

The Na­tional Turkey Fed­er­a­tion rec­om­mends the “Open Pan” method for “a juicy, ten­der, fla­vor­ful golden-brown turkey.” Pre­heat the oven to 325 de­grees and roast the turkey un­til the thigh tem­per­a­ture reaches 180 de­grees or 170 de­grees in the breast.

If all else fails, call the But­ter­ball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUT­TER­BALL (1800-288-8372) and ex­perts will an­swer any ques­tions. and bring to a boil. Sim­mer over low heat un­til the vine­gar is re­duced to 2 ta­ble­spoons, about 20 min­utes. Dis­card the thyme sprig and stir the honey into the vine­gar. In a small skil­let, toast the pine nuts in the re­main­ing 1 tea­spoon of canola oil over mod­er­ate heat, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til golden, about 5 min­utes. Trans­fer the pine nuts to a plate and let cool. Fill a soup pot with ½ inch of wa­ter and bring to a boil. Add the spinach in hand­fuls, stir­ring un­til wilted. When the spinach is wilted, trans­fer to a colan­der and squeeze out the ex­cess wa­ter. Wipe out the pot. Heat the olive oil in the pot and add the Chef Jose Garces sug­gests sweet-and-sour Catalan spinach. spinach. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring, un­til heated through, about 5 min­utes. Trans­fer the spinach to a plat­ter and gar­nish with cur­rants and toasted pine nuts. Driz­zle the sherry vine­gar syrup and serve right away. To­tal time: 45 min­utes.

Crisp veg­eta­bles can be good, but so can veg­eta­bles that have been cooked un­til they are very ten­der, just like these green beans paired with pota­toes in a tomato sauce. All of the fla­vors mix to­gether to be­come a fan­tas­tic side dish for sim­ply pre­pared meats and seafood. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 1 pound red-skinned pota­toes, scrubbed but un­peeled, cut into

PHOTO BY EMILY RYAN

In­stead of pump­kin or ap­ple pie, serve a twist on tra­di­tion with peach/ap­ple cob­bler.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF LISA THOMAS-LAURY

Lisa Thomas-Laury shared the recipe for peach/ap­ple cob­bler, a fam­ily fa­vorite.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MARTIN BUDAY

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